Hickory Hops! beer festival is scheduled for Saturday, April 17th 2010
Official Website - www.hickoryhops.com
Staged on Union Square in downtown Hickory, the 8th annual outdoor beer festival is organized by Hickory Downtown Development Association and hosted by Olde Hickory Brewery. It offers plenty for everyone, from inexperienced beer novices to hardened beer fest veterans anxious for something unusual. Pouring for six hours, beginning at 1:00, live music will be presented by Mountain Still (www.myspace.com/synergystudios212) & Baby Black Orchestra (www.myspace.com/babyblackband), rain or shine. Food is available from downtown restaurants during the festival. Brewers sell t-shirts, pint glasses, mugs and a sundry of other breweriana.
Tickets are available on-line at www.hickoryhops.com and at downtown's Olde Hickory Tap Room on Union Square and Amos Howards Brew Works on Highway 70 West. Cost is $30 in advance and $35 at the gate. Designated driver tickets are $10.
Everyone must be 21 years of age with valid ID to enter the gates, including designated drivers. No pets allowed.
While the economy in general is still pretty lackluster, the Southern craft brewed beer business is bustling with excitement. Over 40 breweries will be at Hickory Hops!, including several first time participants, with vast majority coming from the Tarheel State. Though they vary in size and scope, by their very name, microbreweries—more often called craft breweries these days—a re small businesses. The brewers are here to give their beer away in hopes that fest goers will patronize them in the future.
Complementing the Hickory Hops festivities, the Carolinas Championship of Beer makes its 5th appearance this year. Several weeks before the fest, brewers send their festival beers to Hickory for a blind-judged competition. In early-April, over 200 beers spanning 85 different styles will be analyzed by a panel of certified judges, brewers and experienced judges. Gold, silver and bronze medals in each category will be presented to winning brewers at a private brewers' dinner held the evening before the April 17th festival. During Hickory Hops, engraved plaques will be awarded to three Best of Show winners.
Through its history, Hickory Hops has become one of the industry's most favored fests. This brewer-friendly event, always one of the first of the spring/summer fest season, brings out the best from regional craft brewers. Cask-conditioned ales will be featured by many, as will other special or seasonal ales and lagers. Hickory Hops is a celebration of all things beer. The Hickory audience has always shown its appreciation and respect for this brewed art. Brewers are available to answer question, share tasting notes and enjoy the day. Many past fest-goers have described the beer festival as "the most fun [they've] ever had in downtown Hickory."
Hickory residents are fortunate to avoid travel to the fest. For all the out-of-towners coming, you may want to consider renting a hotel room in order to fully enjoy the festival. Both the Hickory Crowne Plaza and the Park Inn of Hickory are only a couple of miles from the festival site, and both will be running shuttles. Visit www.hickorymetro.com for hotel info and more. The Hickory Downtown Development Association website www.downtownhickory.com is also a great resource for information about the city. If you plan to make a weekend of it, you may also want to check out the Furniture Mart (http://www.hickorymetro.com/accomodations.htm#Hotels), the Catawba Science Center (www.catawbascience.org), the Hickory Museum of Art (www.hickoryart.org) or some of our other local attractions (see the Hickory Metro site for more info).Cheers!
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